October 19, 2018

Weekend reads: Why Dunkin' Donuts dropped 'Donuts' from its name

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Media multitasking could affect your impressions of new people. Media multitasking—when someone uses multiple media devices, such as a smartphone and computer, at the same time—could negatively affect your impressions of new people, according to a study in BMC Psychology. For the study, researchers asked 96 college students to sit in either a tidy or messy room, watch a video featuring a person being interviewed in either a tidy or messy room, and then rate the conscientiousness of the person in the video. According to the researchers, students who reported higher rates of media multitasking were more likely to rate the person in the video as having low conscientiousness if they watched the video in a messy room rather than a tidy one, regardless of whether the room in the video was messy or tidy. Those who reported lower levels of media multitasking did not. According to Richard Lopez of Rice University, this finding suggests that "high media multitaskers may, unknowingly, include irrelevant information from their environment … when they form impressions of others, rather than potentially more relevant information provided by the other person's environment."

    Eating more omega-3s could lead to a healthier old age. Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in fish, could lead to a healthier life in old age, according to a study published in BMJ. For the study, researchers tracked just over 2,600 healthy adults from 1992 to 2015 and measured blood levels of four common types of omega-3s. They found that—after adjusting for dietary, lifestyle, and medical factors—people in the highest one-fifth for omega-3 levels had an 18% lower risk of unhealthy aging than those in the lowest one-fifth of omega-3 levels. Heidi T.M. Lai, a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University and lead author on the study, said the findings suggest people with higher levels of omega-3s "were more likely to live longer and healthier lives. So it is a great idea to eat more fish."

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    Soon, it'll be just Dunkin'. Why? You might've heard that Dunkin' Donuts is cutting the "Donuts" from its name, rebranding as just Dunkin' starting next year. But why? Eliza Brook writes for Vox that the soon-to-be "Dunkin'" isn't the only company changing its name to something more "opaque": Weight Watchers recently renamed itself WW, and Starbucks dropped the term "Coffee" from its name in 2011. According to Brooke, the more opaque names make brand extensions easier. And for Dunkin', that means business beyond doughnuts. In fact, coffee makes up more of the company's sales than the glazed goodies.

    Have you heard of this language?  On a visit to a Synagogue in Sarajevo in 2000, Susanna Zaraysky came across a congregation praying in what she thought was Spanish. Her guess was close but not quite right. The congregation was speaking Ladino—the language spoken by Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. Today, the language has the structure of medieval Spanish but sounds more like certain forms of Spanish spoken in Latin American than European Spanish, Zaraysky writes. According, UNESCO, the language is at risk of extinction as young Sephardic Jews have prefered learning modern Spanish over Ladino.

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